Non-Cracked vs Cracked Pine Pollen

Credits to the brand for their amazing Article!!!


‘Cracked cell wall’ is a term you will see when you’re shopping around for the best pine pollen. Aside from pine pollen that you harvest yourself or purchase from the Holistic Bin Naturals, every single pine pollen product available on the global market is cracked cell wall pine pollen.

You can find dozens of pine pollen vendors on the internet, and while they may use buzz phrases like ‘wild-harvested,’ ‘mountain harvested,’ and ‘raw,’ they are all selling the same product - and it comes from China.

On the other hand, we hand harvest from Lodgepole (Pinus contorta) and Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa), in the untapped wilderness of British Columbia, and keep each pollen as a single variant.

Holistic Bin Naturals is the exclusive source for non-cracked cell wall pine pollen - just like our ancestors ate. We are very passionate about not altering the pine pollen in any way, presenting it to you as it is found in nature.

It seems that if breaking the cell wall was necessary to gain a health benefit, then this food would’ve been forgotten about long ago. Yet, it has held a revered status in Eastern Medicine all this time despite people eating only the whole, uncracked pine pollen.

Non-Cracked Pine Pollen


The pine pollen grain has two cell wall layers. The first, the endospore, is a thin, delicate wall of unaltered cellulose. The second, more robust outer wall, is called the exine. Based on animal studies and depending on the type of pine pollen, experts estimated that we assimilate up to 50-60% of the raw pine pollen that we ingest.

There are no reliable studies to show the difference in human digestion of cracked vs. non-cracked, live pine pollen cells; the only studies are in test tubes. They show that after cracking the cells, you get a small increase in solubility of the nutrients. A mere 15% or less solubility of all nutrients was observed.

The outer layer of the pine pollen is an ancient mechanism designed by Mother Nature to protect the light-sensitive brassinosteroids and other growth-promoting ingredients like gibberellins and abscisic acid from damage by oxidation and light. Considering that cracking pollen's cell wall will expose these ingredients to air, the small increased digestibility of the nutrients in the cracked cells is offset by the oxidation that comes as a direct result of exposing the vital nutrients to the harsh elements.

In our experience working with raw, wild Canadian pine pollen vs. cracked cell Himalayan pine pollen, we can attest tell that the broken cell Himalayan pine pollen takes a brownish hue in tinctures - evidence of oxidation and thus a loss of nutrients.

Raw/Live Pine Pollen Nutrients


Pine pollen evolved to have a very durable outer cell wall, to survive the journey from the male catkin to the female pine cone.

If pine pollen didn't have a rugged exterior, the nutrients inside would degrade before they ever had the chance to fertilize a pine cone and transform it into a towering pine tree.

We see a lot of arbitrary numbers thrown out there, like this quote:
"...approximately 95% of the uncracked pine pollen passes through the digestive tract undigested (as opposed to 99% of the cracked cell wall Pine Pollen being digested)."

These claims are unsubstantiated, and at best, are a blend of marketing tactics and guesses. No definitive studies state what percentage of pine pollen the human digestive tract assimilates, whether cracked or non-cracked cell wall.
However, there is some fascinating research that suggests that cracking the cell wall is unnecessary. This study took pine pollen and looked at it under a microscope before and after exposure to hydrochloric acid (as found in our stomachs).

They discovered that hydrochloric acid effectively pokes holes in the pine pollen's cell wall, allowing for the nutrients inside to be extracted.
Additionally, this study examined the digestibility of various pollen grains in a variety of animals. Overall (depending on the pollen and creature), pollen digestibility averaged between 50-100%.

Considering that pine pollen germination pores open up when exposed to water, plus the similarity of our stomach acid content (ph ~3.5) and mammals studied, experts estimate that on average, we assimilate at the least 50% of the non-cracked pine pollen we ingest and indeed up to 80% when the pollen is soaked in water before digestion. At 50% this may sound like a small number, but the phytoestrogens from pine pollen are so powerful that, feeding of uncracked cells can be effectively used in the fisheries to effecting sex reversal from female to male in the tilapia. Also, the added bonus is in your gut. Non-cracked pollen grains have an amazing ability to absorb toxic chemicals from their surroundings, effectively cleaning you from the inside out and promoting intestinal health.


First off, the ground drying technique, common to the production of Masson pine, involves repeated turnover of the pollen buds. This method invariably cracked the bud material, some small enough to be mixed in with the pollen. Cracking the cell wall changed the uniform consistency of the pure pollen, and masks the residual plant impurities.

At Holistic Bin Naturals Company we know this, that is why we decided to focus on small-batch harvests and drying the buds on drying well ventilated drying racks rather than on the ground.

Additionally while packaging due to the powder's airborne nature there is an unavoidable ~10% loss of product when machine packed. Industrial-scale processing can lead to evermore. Rupturing the air sacs ('cracking the cell wall’) makes pine pollen much easier to work with, and prevents this loss in product.
When working with the volume that the state-subsidized Chinese manufacturers do, a mere 10% loss in pollen would be enormous, let alone the addition of a 10% residual plant matter!


It is a fact that human beings can assimilate nutrients from raw, non-cracked cell wall pine pollen. Cracking the cell wall changed the uniform consistency of the pure pollen, and masks the residual plant impurities.

At Holistic Bin Naturals we know this, We feel it is best to do your research, and also to come to your own conclusions. If you’re not sure which type of pine pollen produces the best results, we recommend trying ours and compare it to literally any other vendor.

And if you are convinced to give ours a chance, Buy now and get 10% off your first order today.

1 comment

  • Thank you for taking the time to explain all of this. I have just had some holistic dentistry and I was muscle tested to pine pollen as a detoxifier. I placed a 60day order with British Supplements and noticed “cracked pine pollen” so decided to investigate further. I have noted all that you say and will order from you when my present supply is complete. Thank you for again for giving more in depth information and clarity.

    Lydia Lee

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